ICAC brings anti-corruption training and messages to Western NSW

Wednesday 23 May 2018

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will visit Western NSW next week as part of its rural and regional outreach program to bring anti-corruption initiatives and training to centres across the state.

The visit, to be based in Orange from 28 to 31 May, will include workshops for state and local government agencies to raise awareness of corruption risks and learn ways to prevent corrupt conduct.

The ICAC Chief Commissioner, the Hon Peter Hall QC, will host a community leaders’ forum on Wednesday 30 May as part of the visit, where he will be joined by the recently-appointed NSW Ombudsman, Mr Michael Barnes. Chief Commissioner Hall will discuss the roles and functions of the ICAC at the forum, while Mr Barnes will talk about the role of the NSW Ombudsman.

Chief Commissioner Hall said that corruption prevention is a very important function of the Commission, and that the ways in which to promote good practice and manage corruption risks is constantly evolving. “It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest information and practices when dealing with risks to prevent corrupt conduct from occurring,” Chief Commissioner Hall said. “We have 110 registrations from 18 agencies for the workshops, which is very encouraging as it indicates that public officials located in the area are keen to learn about and enhance their corruption prevention skills and knowledge. This in turn will benefit the local community by promoting responsible and ethical practices in locally-based public sector agencies.”

Workshops scheduled for this visit include corruption prevention for managers, which focuses on developing an understanding of the nature of corruption, how and why it occurs, and what managers can do to prevent it; and fact-finder, which is an introductory workshop for those who may be required to conduct an internal fact-finding investigation into a complaint or allegations of staff wrongdoing, including misconduct or corruption. New workshops developed since the Commission’s last outreach visit to the area will include corruption prevention for planning professionals, designed for town planners and related public officials working within the planning system; and corruption prevention in procurement and contract management, which aims to assist managers and staff responsible for procurement to identify where systems weaknesses and corruption opportunities may lie.

More than 40 people will attend the community leaders’ forum, including elected representatives and senior staff from local and state government agencies and community interest groups. Agencies attending the outreach activities include the Department of Planning and Environment, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW State Emergency Service, Western NSW Local Health District, Family and Community Services, Central Tablelands Water, Resource Regulator, Environmental Sustainability Unit and TAFE NSW. Blayney Shire, Cabonne, Cowra Shire, Forbes Shire, Lithgow City, Mid-Western Regional, Narromine Shire, and Orange City councils are also expected to participate.

The ICAC rural and regional outreach program has proved highly successful since its inception in 2001. Previous visits have included to the central coast, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the south east, the central west, the north coast, the northern inland, the south coast, the far west, Riverina Murray and the Blue Mountains. The Commission’s rural and regional outreach program last visited western NSW in May 2010.

Enquiries and interview requests: ICAC Manager Communications and Media, Nicole Thomas, 0417 467 801 or Senior Communications Officer, Ellie Prodromou, 02 8281 5913.

News Directors/Ed’s note: Media are welcome to attend the Community Leaders’ Forum at the Orange Ex Services Club Coral Sea Room, 231-243 Anson Street, Orange, at 8.50 am. Please RSVP to Ellie Prodromou or Nicole Thomas at the above numbers or email eprodromou@icac.nsw.gov.au by Monday 28 May 2018.